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LGBT March at White House Tomorrow

LGBT activists and allies will be marching Wednesday in front of the White House prior to the president signing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Equality Forum, a national and international GLBT civil rights group with an educational focus, has organized the demonstration. Those involved are planning to carry photos of hate-crimes victims including Shepard and Harvey Milk.

"Homophobia has fueled carnage since Matthew Shepard's murder 11 years ago," stated Malcolm Lazin, executive director of Equality Forum, in a press release for the event. "The Matthew Shepard Amendment is the beginning, not the end, in recognizing, addressing, and eliminating homophobia in our schools, workplaces, neighborhoods and culture."

Also in attendance will be Carol Watchler, cochair of the Central New Jersey Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network.

"As we carry the photos of murder victims of GLBT hate crimes, we stand in for those whose lives have been silenced," said Watchler in the statement for the march. "We demonstrate because we are concerned about the safety of youth. We want to ensure that gay and lesbian children are not hate crime statistics and can live without fear of homophobic violence."

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act amends the 1969 federal hate-crimes law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

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